Friday 16 June 2006

Starting Anew

I cannot believe the outpouring of love, here, in email, on the phone, in person from friends that are @media. I have to possibly be the luckiest person alive to have the good fortune to be so cared about in this world.

For scaring everyone I am truly sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Depression is a nasty, horrible place.

I think that people sometimes wonder how I can risk my professional much less personal stature in the world by being so blatantly open about who and what I am. Most people keep their pain inside, or aren’t comfortable expressing it in such a public place as a blog.

For me, living my life authentically means more than anything. That is my first truth. Interestingly, my authenticity has rarely, if ever harmed my professional life. If anything, it’s done the opposite. I don’t exactly understand why, but I am very grateful for that.

After my talk today, which I really enjoyed because of the interest and enthusiasm of the fantastic @media audience, I felt a lifting of the sorrows and a sense that I was surrounded, both physically and virtually, by a family so large and loving it far surpasses anything I could have imagined existed in this world. For each of you who wrote to me and here on my blog, called, came by, and messaged, I wish all that is good to be returned to you, and that if you’re having trouble, you can talk to me, too.

You all have treated me with such compassion during one of the darkest times of my life. Whether I’ve met you or don’t know you at all, I have to say that I feel stronger today than I have in a long time. I think I hit bottom, and I guess that’s part of the process of learning how to heal.

Now, the challenge I face is to make restitution toward the people I have harmed with my fear and my pain, how I lashed out at certain people close to me who should never have had to bear the brunt of my cruelty and anger. I believe I can honor myself by honoring this profound love that I have been gifted by each of you, and I plan to do that with the following actions:

  • Stop drinking, completely
  • See or talk with my therapist regularly, no matter where I am in the world
  • Seek medical care for my situation
  • Own my wrongdoings toward others and do right by people
  • Modify my travel and workload to allow for better self-care

I’m sure I will think of others, but the point is that it is you, my tribe, my friends, my colleagues, my family, have helped me more than I think I will ever be able to say in words. Again, to you all, my deepest gratitude and I love you, each and every one (even the obnoxious troll).

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 11:49 | Comments (35)

Comments (35)

  1. Molly – May I add one more item to your plan? Reach out when you feel yourself starting to slide so that we can be there to catch you. Whatever you need, just ask. -Much love from a member of the tribe

  2. You should be proud that you have decided on a positive course of action when a few days ago you felt so negative.

  3. Take each minute, each hour and then each day and slowly like lego build up. It’s an odd way to think of it but if you reduce it down a build up you will find before long you have achieved a week, then a month and a year. Every step of it you will have support – that is because you are who you are and because of that you will have support for as long as you need it and at any time.

  4. Two thumbs up! God bless you girl.

  5. Molly – I have been reading your site for just a few months and have never commented before, but I want you to know that like everyone else here, I have been thinking of you a lot over the past couple of days, and I am so glad to hear you are doing better. Please stay strong.

    I have struggled with depression myself and with alcoholism in my family, so I know some of the darkness you have described. I admire your courage for putting this out there publicly. But as you see, you are not alone in these things. It is part of the human condition, and we all go through trials and dark times, even though we may be reluctant to admit it to others. Keep talking! I think shining the light of day on these things is one of the first parts of healing. This is why I have always spoken openly about my parents’ alcoholism, for my own healing as well as wanting to let others know that it is OK, even helpful, to talk about these dark things.

    While your personal circumstances might seem difficult right now, I am confident that there are resources out there for you. You just need to ask and be open to finding and receiving them. I think you have already started that here.

    I wish you peace and health and strength in the days ahead, and I will keep you in my thoughts.

  6. I’m glad to see a fresh Molly face today… You are loved. I know the dark place. I know what it feels like not to be able to see the light. But I think yesterday, the light was blasted into every little corner of your world. You couldn’t escape it. And I’m glad you didn’t try…

    As always, love you Mols… No matter where you are or what happens. No matter whether you hang in with your promises to yourself, or slip on your journey and have to get back up. I’m here… day or night…

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  8. Good to hear that you are feeling better today Molly. Will continue to pray for you.

    Peace and God’s richest blessings in your life.

  9. Hey Molly,

    There are a number of people in my life, including my wife, that are on medication for depression. I don’t know if you are but if you aren’t because you feel it is a weakness or a failing, I just want to tell you that it is no more a failing than someone with a heart condition taking a drug.

    Mental and physical diseases both need treatment. It doesn’t make a person weak.

  10. Dear Molly,

    Look back in your blog and you will see that you have the strength and inner calmness to surmount the present troubles.

    Remember your smiling face on the photo posted last Thanksgiving Day, and the laughter of the friends surrounding you. Chuckle about the Jewish girl who cooked pig for Christmas and the horror of her ancestors rolling around their graves – at what, the pig or Christmas or both!

    Re-admire the tenacity of your little Tara, to persevere so long with severe kidney disease. You wrote that some friends thought you nuts to put a cat ahead of your career. I don’t. I spent months giving twice daily insulin shots to my feline making that schedule my schedule.

    I usually visit your site once a month or so, spending a few minutes looking for your wisdom about the web and how it might further my career as a writer/content developer. I’ve been here today for two hours, remember my own brush with the dark side, empathize with yours and know that there is a way forward.

    Good Luck

  11. Dear Molly

    I’m gald to see you have written something. Yes mental health and addiction are not spoken much out in the open. Cheers to you for admitting that there is a problem. Just by admitting it, you have gained strength.

    You wrote of keeping it inside and not being your authentic self. That is so true. No one should have to hide because of mental illness. I also do not hide it and sometimes wonder if it keeps me where I am. However, as I read more female written blogs I’m learning that I am not alone in my life. And you are not alone.

    I think the taboos are beginning to break in society. I had a candle going for you last night. Glad to see you made it through.

    take care,

  12. Mazel tov. And tell those people who were trying to turn the Jewess into a born-again Christian that they weren’t helping.

  13. Molly

    I have been reading your blog for a few months and really wanted so to go to @Media this year but could not and once I read your initital posting I wish I was there to give you a hug.

    You are so brave to share all and I admire that. You are not alone on the road of depression for there are many on that highway but fortunately you reached out and was able to see all those who love and care for you.

    Best wishes and godspeed on getting to a place where you are at peace; obviously you are loved by many.

    Stay true and you have my positive thoughts and prayers,

    – melissa

  14. Wow – this is great to hear! I was really quite worried by yesterday’s post – glad to hear things are looking up. As ever your presentation was full of passion, insight and a joy to behold!

    Thanks for your continuing passion, and love of this medium we call web, and us too – we love you back twice as much! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the web is a better place for you being involved with it, and we would all be lost without you!

    Do continue to blog about your life, love and troubles, if only so we can help you through the bad times, and celebrate the good times together. I think your action plan is an excellent start!


  15. Molly, I met you only once, briefly, at TODcon in Vegas. The thing that struck me immediately was the very trait that you too value in yourself – your authenticity. Genuineness and warmth positively radiate from you.

    I just spent some time looking around your site to learn more about the gifted woman who is not afraid to share her suffering and problems. I learned that you love music, and I already knew that you love cats. Here is a quote I live by and I hope it helps you too:
    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” Albert Schweitzer.

    Hang in there Molly – we’ll be here to listen and offer comfort as you go through your struggles.

  16. Molly,

    Just a note from another of the faceless lurking masses who feel they know you through your professional work – your passion shines through everything you do.

    Having now read about the place you were at last night, I find your performance at @media today truly incredible.

    You are clearly a woman of great strength of character. An inspiration too us all. Dig deep – I’m sure you can crack this thing called life. One day at a time.

    All my best wishes.

  17. Thank you for letting your light shine on. When you feel weak, remember there are those that love you and want to help you. You continue to be an inspiration to many… including me. Stay strong, you have proven you are strong. Part of being strong is knowing when to ask for help. Another part of being strong is accepting the help that is given to you. You have done both these things. One of my favorite quotes:
    ³It¹s hard to beat a person who never gives up.² — Babe Ruth

    And one final thought:
    “Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”
    -Ray Kroc

    You have an inner drive and will to survive that will give you what you need to survive and succeed. Anything you need, day or night, do not hesitate to ask.

    Peace, love, hugs, and prayers for everything good for you.


  18. FYI:
    even as he stopped wobbling wendall realized he had a big problem

  19. Also Shakit Gawain has written books on recognizing and accepting one’s “shadow-self”

  20. At this point in your recovery you must set the proper priorities.
    Part of you is recognizing that you give too much to your work; this can serve a purpose; Yet, over time the boundary betwixt “justified methods of protection” and “crutches utilized with denial” will become blurred if not non-existent.
    Now that you are willing to change you must be cognizant of where you put your energy.
    What fishies do you want to catch sista?

  21. here is a link to the image that i really wanted to send,

    this one is new to me, though; it reminded me of what one of your friends had to say in the scary blog about differentiating between the voices in one’s head

    have a good night all

  22. “For me, living my life authentically means more than anything.”

    Molly, you have my utmost respect!

  23. **hug** Be good to yourself Molly.

  24. I was one of the people in the audience at @media yesterday. I am amazed at how positive you were despite what you must have been feeling inside. Warmth and enthusiasm flowed out of you. You have all my very best wishes.

  25. i’m holding you to it :-). *sending virtual hugs.*

  26. Hello Molly!

    I read portions of your blog. Regarding depression: You might find Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s books helpful. I recommend them. Follow the link and read a bit:


    Michael Flessas

  27. Glad to hear you’ve come through to a brighter day. I know we only met briefly at WE05 but I really did feel worried. As you’ve observed, these days our personal tribes are global!

  28. Sounds like a plan, Molly :-)


  29. Molly, I had read your posts a while ago and was so impressed by your honesty and willingness to share. This morning was a morning where I woke up trying to decide which ledge to jump off of.

    I emailed my sister and asked her what time she would be up so I could call her because I was in “dire straits”. Obviously she called me right away and talked me off the ledge. I wish I could be more like you and more open about my feelings, for that alone would be wonderful therapy in itself.

    After that was over I came to your blog and have been doing some reading. It has helped. Keep up the good work, for it has helped me. :)


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  31. This is very interesting site…

  32. Molly,
    I know what the valley is like.
    Some forty years ago I returned from Vietnam where I was wounded for the rest of my life. I let it get me down. I let it become an excuse for failures. I’m now sixty years of age and am only now realizing I was only wounded by myself, and not my opponents.
    There were so many veterans in all the group sessions and other veterans associations who were sitting there telling lies about their war experiences. Trying to get glory they had not earned. In fact, most were not even in positions where they were issued a firearm. I was in a position to know what I was talking about. Details just aren’t necessary about my own war experience, any further than I have already described. Why let myself even sound like these dishonest people who claim to have fought a war and didn’t.
    So, what’s my point ? Hell, I don’t know. I don’t really have a point other than to say I understand depression, and what it can lead up to, and more. I have Purple Hearts. I have Silver Stars w/multiple repeat clusters, Bronze Stars w/ “V” and multiple repeat clusters, Gallantry Cross, etc.,etc. Big deal..
    They don’t mean a damn thing to anyone.
    I studied art at California State University Campuses. (Studio Art). When I was in a high school doing my “student teaching” part of getting a teaching credential, and I was explaining to the students, in an animated fashion, some tidbits about the Sistine Chapel. I looked at the students, and though my descriptions were as I said,”animated”, they were all dozing, daydreaming, and whispering to one another of whatever young people whisper about.
    That was it. I quit bothering. I requested a transfer to a different school but the Director wouldn’t consider it. I knew that wasn’t the answer anyway. It’s hard to realize that the young people of today are not anything like the young people of the past. That “place” where I live in my mind and should maybe let pass.
    I’ve completely lost my point, if I had one to begin with other than mere complaining.
    I just know what a deep valley of depression can be like. How hard it is to climb out of at my age. I haven’t made it out yet.
    I’d like to paint. I’d like to paint what I feel. I hope it is not too late in my life to start. They say it is never too late. Who are “they”?
    How can I meet like-minded people who can understand themselves, or me, or anything for that matter?
    I’ve become so lazy. I have a few “excuses”. Physical as well as mental ones. BUT I want to create my feelings in an artistic form. My desire is apparently not strong enough to help me climb out of the valley of the depressed. I’ll try, but I have before, and I’ve always quit before I’ve finished. I’ve never completed anything. What a stupid thing to say, or even think. But I think it none the less, and do even LESS.
    There it is…

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